Children dressed up as vampires, princesses, superheroes and witches, some carrying pumpkins, paraded through the streets of the 35th annual Village Venture Arts and Crafts Faire, Saturday.
Thousands visited the fair that spanned from First Street to Fourth Street along Indian Hill Boulevard in downtown Claremont.
The fair began with a children’s Halloween parade.
Other festivities included the children’s pre-carved pumpkin competition, hosted by the Claremont Sunrise Rotary booth. The pumpkins were judged later in the afternoon.
Business owners showcased their handmade jewelry, houseware, art, soy candles and more.
The event attracted local, and not so local residents.
“There are so many enjoyable events and fun crafts,” said Katherine Garner, who came from Santa Monica for the event. “My favorites have been the Dorothy Wallace Photography and Day of the Dead booth.”
Local businesses, nonprofits organizations and information were located on First Street.
Food ranged from Korean barbecue, tamales and special vegan cuisine to more traditional crowd pleasers such as tacos, hot dogs and lemonade.
However, Claremont resident Leslie Powell, who attends every year, said there seemed to be fewer food vendors than in previous years.
Despite that, she said she still enjoyed the fair.
“I love the creativity and brilliance of everyone here,” Powell said. “The fair is also great for some early Christmas shopping.”
Many of the local businesses set up booths outside their store and passed out free samples of their products all day.
Some businesses traveled far to set up their booth at the fair.
Sarwat Suleiman, jewelry designer and owner of Sparkles by Sarwat, came out from Carlsbad. Suleiman has been selling jewelry at the fair for the past seven years.
“Business has been really good today,” Suleiman said. “There was a steady (flow) of customers, but it dwindled in the afternoon because of the heat.”
Garner said the heat of the sun became so intense after noon that many went inside coffee shops and restaurants to cool off.
The House of Wickersham, a booth run by South Corona resident Cathy Wickersham, featured art from four generations of the family and its friends.
The booth sold photographs, note cards and landscape paintings.
“We have art that dates back to 1938,” Wickersham said. “We love to set up art shows and booths to showcase our work. Our art encompasses our family.”
Although the fair was supposed to end at 5 p.m., many people continued to shop around for another hour as business owners slowly packed up their arts and crafts.
In previous years, there had been many complaints about parking.
This year, Pomona Valley Transit Authority provided complementary off-site shuttle service from three lots, transporting visitors directly to the fair.
Sharon Lau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.